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Proof that good things come in small packages – meet Bonnie Scott, the pint-sized powerhouse and frontwoman of Melbourne’s most in-demand Acca Dacca tribute band. Bonnie, aka Laura Davidson, is well-known in the live music scene, locally and nationally, thanks to her impressive set of lungs and rock chick attitude to boot.
“We play a lot of corporate bookings – they’re always interesting because sometimes people don’t know what to expect, but we always win them over in the end,” Laura said with a grin. “We do have our sceptics, but once we get into it, they love it!”
AC/DSHE was born over half a decade ago when Laura was asked to fill in for a weekend with the now defunct cover band Powerage (named for the 1978 AC/DC record). “They actually had a male singer until his voice blew out. I’d met Andrew Kahofer [rhythm guitarist formerly of Powerage, now AC/DSHE] through the friend of a friend,” Laura explained. “He just came out and asked me if I thought I could do a set of Acca Dacca and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll give that a crack for sure!’” she laughed.
Laura said that they changed the name soon after, and the rest is history. “Then we heard there was another AC/DC tribute band in the US with the same name [an all-girl line-up from San Francisco], but they don’t play in Australia – so just as long as we don’t tread on their toes by going overseas, it’s not going to be a problem.”
Would she ever consider taking the reins of an all-female outfit here at home? “I’d love to do that!” Laura admitted. “But that would take time and a whole lot of organisation – and unfortunately, time is something I don’t have much of these days … We usually play a show or two at The Espy in Melbourne every couple of months, and some of us play in other bands, so we spread ourselves around a little bit.”
As a sought-after vocalist, Laura divides her time between AC/DSHE and the Bob Starkie Band. “Bob Starkie was the guitarist in the Skyhooks. I’ve played with the Skyhooks’ original line-up (except for Red Symonds) a couple of times. When I’ve sung with Bob on other occasions, the rest of the band is made up of John Farnham’s live band, so the gigs go off!”
Bob Starkie and other members of the groundbreaking Skyhooks have been a huge influence on Laura (and no doubt the wider Australian music community) – the late, great Graeme ‘Shirley’ Strachan in particular. “I learnt a lot from just listening to him, and I grew up with him, too.”
Laura seems to have rock ’n’ roll in her blood, so I was surprised to hear that jazz is the genre that’s close to her heart. “I love Sarah Vaughan – she’s probably one of my favourites – and Amy Winehouse is a huge influence on me. Yeah, she’s right up there in my top three.” Rounding out that list: “Bon Scott of course – he’ll always be my favourite member of AC/DC, hands down!”
Much like their beloved namesake, AC/DSHE have had their fair share of members, but with the current line-up of Laura on vox, Tony Goreski on lead guitar, Kevin Hunt on bass, Greg Aldridge on drums and, of course, Andrew on rhythm guitar, AC/DSHE are gearing up for a busy summer!
Look up acdshe.australia on Facebook to find upcoming gigs and be sure to catch them in all their rocking glory at Geelong’s 2nd annual Motor City Music Festival in early 2015.
WHEN&WHERE: Motor City Music Festival – March 7-9
By Natalie Rogers